Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands Reviews

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November 16, 2013
A must see for all Canadians, especially for previous environmental skeptics like me. It adds to the debate, and surprisingly offers rare perspectives you may not thought of previously
½ February 26, 2012
"Petropolis" is a boring, sensationalist slideshow of images of tailings ponds and muddy earth that shows mostly stuff anyone living up here in Fort Mac already knew about.
February 12, 2012
Boring if you don't know what you are getting into. It is very informative though, there is nothing good coming out of Fort McMurray that is for sure. Living there it's weird seeing a overhead view of the entire area.
½ November 25, 2011
this film may contain content that is really embarrassing on national and human race levels!
½ April 8, 2011
On the plus side, this looks great! I mean, yes it is shots of the oil sands, but it does make them look good!

The problem is that they go on for 40 minutes before anyone talks and then the movie is over so it starts to get redundant. VERY redundant! And dull, therefore.
March 18, 2011
Rent Baraka or Koyaanisqatsi instead.
½ February 9, 2011
If you're looking to offset that Canadian pride you gained from last year's Olympics, give this film about the Alberta Tar Sands a viewing. Not much dialogue, just depressing, disgusting aerial views of a toxic wasteland the size of England. Oh Canada.
February 6, 2011
Harrowing and informative. I recommend you to watch the special features. There is some good interviews which adds to the visual information in this documentary.
½ December 14, 2010
this film may contain content that is really embarrassing on national and human race levels!
September 11, 2010
Like 'Baraka' and other documentaries which show images from the world,
both good and bad, "Petropolis" does not need narration to tell you
what is going on in Northern Alberta. The images alone do it justice.
You only need to see the images of the tailings ponds, hot crude
gushing from pipes into lakes and bleak, colourless landscapes to know
that this is truly environmental damage on a mass scale.

The film opens with the camera panning across the unspoiled wilderness
of the boreal forests of Northern Alberta. Suddenly, the viewer is over
an industrial wasteland like none other. The total size of the tar
sands is 140,000 square kilometres. By comparison the area of England
is 130,000. There are also plans to extensively expand the oil sands in
the near future.

The supplements on the DVD are interesting as well and perhaps should
have been part of the 45 minute feature. There are interviews with
local residents, a local doctor who speaks about increased cancer
rates, a fisherman who talks of increased numbers of mutilated fish and
residents of Fort McMurray who talk of the horrible toxic smell which
now regularly covers the town.

This is a good documentary for anyone interested in the impact of the
oil sands on the ecology of North Alberta.
July 18, 2010
Beautifully morbid landscapes.
½ June 4, 2010
The destructive beauty of the Alberta Tar Sands is difficult to argue against, but a devastating lack of context and a too-frequent focus on the machines rather than the natural wonder makes this as testing as it is visually sumptuous.
Super Reviewer
April 20, 2010
You get what you expect to see in flying over oil pits but then you get more...strange colours and shapes that you didn't anticipate all in an environment that seems the very opposite of environment. Not Bad China as in Manufactured Landscapes. Bad Canada. Profit driven to the point of destroying what we claim to be most proud of.
April 3, 2010
It is quite eery what's happening to the beauty of Alberta / Canada's boreal forest near Fort McMurray. One can only speculate as to whether or not this level of distruction would have been able to go on this long if it was near larger population centers. Every Albertan / Canadian should watch this to get a first hand account of what is going on in our backyard!!!
½ March 28, 2010
A documentary by Greenpeace Canada about the pollution made by the tar sands industry in Canada. Should be better if more written information is provided rather than just a slient movie.
February 8, 2010
For 45 minutes we stare at the effect and reflect on the cause. Ambient music breathes atmosphere into these images. Sadly, I found the film had the effect of making mankind seem like another process of the earth, like shifting plates & volcanoes, as if this is just the predetermined role we're going to play, regardless of the years to come...
October 30, 2009
Made for Greenpeace. That says enough. Lacking any form of nuance and is hardly fulfilling a self-purported educational role. The two stars are simply for the stunning aerial views and the great camera work.
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